Edna Gerrard, a longtime resident with a knack for community service and a mind for business, died on May 16 at age 86.
A 57-year resident of Brookhaven Town and the wife of former town councilman Gene Gerrard, she died of complications related to esophageal cancer, her daughter Pam Ruschak said in an interview on Tuesday.
Edna Gerrard had lived in Mount Sinai, Port Jefferson and Middle Island with her husband, to whom she was married for 65 years. The couple raised five children together.
The pair’s surname was perhaps most well-known through the printing shop they owned in Port Jefferson Station, St. Gerard Printing, where Edna worked until last year, when the Gerrard family sold the local business.
But “her big love was community service,” Ruschak said.
Gerrard had worked with many organizations throughout the area over the years. She was a past president of the Port Jefferson Station and Terryville chamber of commerce; a founding member and past president of the networking group Decision Women in Commerce and Professions; a former vice president of the Mount Sinai Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary; and a former Long Island Power Authority trustee.
Former LIPA Chairman Richard Kessel called Gerrard a “valuable asset to the board.”
“Soft-spoken but challenging, cared greatly for ratepayers and the environment,” Kessel said. “She’ll be missed.”
Ruschak said her mother found a way to raise a family and still be involved in her community, something that makes her proud.
“She was just a beautiful, dynamic, classy, graceful woman,” the daughter said.
In addition to husband Gene, daughter Pam and Pam’s husband, Richard Ruschak, Edna Gerrard is survived by her son, Paul Gerrard, and his wife, Pam; her daughter, Patricia Leffke, and husband Gary; her daughter, Ann Dunn, and husband John; her son-in-law, Edward McKenna; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Her daughter, Christine McKenna, preceded her in death.
Moloney’s Port Jefferson Station Funeral Home handled arrangements and a Mass was held at St. Frances Cabrini R.C. Church in Coram on Wednesday.
“There will be tough shoes to fill,” Pam Ruschak said. “There will be a real void in this community.”
This version corrects the spelling of the Gerrard family name.